Key Words: Manafort accused of foldering — but what is ‘foldering’?

Key Words: Manafort accused of foldering — but what is ‘foldering’?

Manafort accused of foldering — but what is ‘foldering’?

It’s not in the dictionary, so what is this “foldering” of which former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort stands accused?

Essentially, it’s a manner of communicating, theoretically undetected, via messages entered into an email application but left unsent. Other parties with access to the account’s user name and password are then free to retrieve and read the messages and respond as wished, again leaving their messages in draft mode.

Further explanation from CNN’s Marshall Cohen:

Prosecutors said Manafort used a method called "foldering" to covertly talk to people. It's not that complicated: He made an email account and shared the password. He wrote messages but saved them as drafts, never sending actual emails. Other guys open the draft, read it, delete.

— Marshall Cohen (@MarshallCohen) June 15, 2018

And a contextualizing follow-up from former federal prosecutor, and recently a candidate for attorney general in Illinois, Renato Mariotti, who serves as a legal analyst for CNN:

This is sophisticated activity that was used by drug cartels I investigated years ago. The use of this method of communication in itself shows that Manafort knew he was doing something wrong and didn't want to be caught.

— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) June 15, 2018

Manafort was jailed Friday when a judge determined that his alleged efforts to influence prospective witnesses — he has been charged on numerous counts relating to money laundering and failure to register as a foreign lobbyist and other alleged illegal activities — necessitated a revocation of his bail.

A tweet from President Trump called it a “tough sentence,” despite Manafort’s not having been sentenced, nor tried:

Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort, who has represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns. Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob. What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others? Very unfair!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2018

Tim Rostan

Tim Rostan is a MarketWatch managing editor based in Chicago.

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